Nanotechnology and nanoscience refer to the behavior and properties of materials at the nanoscale: about 1,000 times smaller than is visible to the human eye. The technology allows for the fabrication of devices with molecular dimensions, as well as producing entirely new properties that emerge at that size. To get an idea of the scale:
Applications can be found in areas as diverse as semiconductors, electronics, medicine, robotics, energy production and other fields. Learn more about nanotechnology:
Nanotechnology has been identified by the U.S. Department of Labor as one of the country’s top three emerging technologies over the next decade. Still in its relative infancy, it has the potential to revolutionize science.
The ability to earn a degree in nanotechnology is relatively new, with Richland College offering one of the few associate degrees in the area. Several Texas universities and colleges offer bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees with an emphasis in nanotechnology.
If you are already in or considering a career path in a science- or manufacturing-related field — including chemistry, biology, physics, medicine, engineering, electronics, telecommunications or semiconductor manufacturing — you should look at nanotechnology.
There is no one job described as a “nanotechnician,” but a number of career fields incorporate nanotechnology into their research, development, manufacturing and production processes, including:
It’s the wide range of potential products and applications that gives nanotechnology its enormous job-growth prospects. According to a study by market researcher Global Information Inc., the annual worldwide market for products incorporating nanotechnology is expected to reach $3.3 trillion by 2018.
Though many career paths incorporate nanotechnology, engineering positions in particular are projected for high growth. Workforce Solutions of Greater Dallas estimates that more than 30,000 engineering positions — including electronic, environmental, mechanical, civil and petroleum engineers — will be available locally this year. CareerOneStop, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, estimates 20 to 42 percent growth in all engineering fields (high growth is considered to be more than 10 percent annually) through 2024 in Texas.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the fastest-growing engineering specialty will be biomedical engineering. Jobs in this field, which centers on developing and testing health-care innovations such as artificial organs or imaging systems, are expected to grow by an astounding 72 percent.
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